Simple Living skills on display at Dan Nicholas Park

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
Despite a wet and windy start, hundreds turned out Saturday afternoon for the Simple Living Festival at Dan Nicholas Park.
Mother Nature may have wanted to make sure everything was freshly washed . A storm moved through just as the festival was getting under way at noon.
Most exhibitors didn’t seem to mind. Some added few extra tie-downs to their tents.
And the cooking demonstration on an open fire by Boy Scout Troop 401 had to be restarted after the torrent of rain passed.
It was just another day in the pasture for a large Holstein cow from Pless Dairy in Rimertown.
She munched from a tub of feed while Ethan Pless demonstrated that milk really doesn’t come from the cooler at Food Lion.
While the cow is normally milked by machine, she didn’t seem to mind the hand-milking or the crowd of onlookers.
Pless gave several demonstrations during the afternoon. “Some had seen milking before, but most hadn’t,” said Pless, whose family milks 240 Holsteins at their farm.
The big birds of the Carolina Raptor Center also drew the attention of youngsters.
A red-tailed hawk and a great horned owl sat on their perches and stared back at the crowds as a Raptor Center volunteer fielded questions.
Festival-goers got to watch as a blacksmith demonstrated his craft.
Another exhibitor spun yarn from Angora rabbit fur.
Several craftsmen demonstrated various forms of woodworking รณ from making bowls and spoons to carving a totem pole.
James Deanaux of Salisbury with Scout Troop 401 took time to check out the woodworking. He marveled at the spoons carved from various woods.
Deanaux’s interest is in Indian arts and learning how to do bead work.
Along with the crafts, the festival featured several local musical groups playing bluegrass, folk and gospel music.
“It’s been a good experience,” said Bob Pendergrass, supervisor of the Nature and Learning Center. “I haven’t talked to anyone who isn’t interested in coming back next year.”
“It was a change of pace, all about simple living,” Pendergrass said, adding, “All in all, it was a good day.”
Festival organizers hope to make the festival an annual event to exhibit heritage crafts, and music while emphasizing environmental issues related to Earth Day.